It’s kind of hard to believe, but the Frederick Keys haven’t had a winning season since Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop patrolled the infield at Harry Grove Stadium in 2011.
This could be the year, though, that the Keys get back on the winning side of things, especially if Frederick’s rotation can be as good as, well, it should be.
At least that’s what Adam Pohl thinks.
Pohl, currently the voice of the Double-A Bowie Baysox – and the Keys’ play-by-play announcer in 2011 when Frederick won the Carolina League title – highlights the Keys this week in his “Minor League Podcast.”
Joined by BaltimoreBaseball.com’s minor leaguer writer Dean Jones Jr., Pohl focuses this podcast on what can propel the Orioles’ High-A affiliate to a competitive record in this, the Keys’ 30th season.
Last year, Pohl and Jones expected Frederick to thrive based on what looked to be a promising rotation that included top picks Cody Sedlock and Keegan Akin (pictured above).
Those two struggled. Sedlock, the Orioles’ first-round selection in 2016, was 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA in an injury-riddled season and Akin, a 2016 second-rounder, was 7-8 with a 4.14 ERA. As a staff, the Keys ended up last in the Carolina League with a 4.41 ERA.
There’s a question as to which starters – including some that pitched well at Low-A Delmarva or Short-A Aberdeen – will end up in Frederick’s 2018 rotation. Pohl and Jones consider some names, including Australian lefty Alex Wells, who was the organization’s 2017 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Wells should be a lock to start the year at Frederick, Pohl opines.
There are also some offensive players to watch, including Preston Palmeiro, the son of former Orioles’ standout Rafael Palmeiro, and outfielder Jake Ring, who made some noise in the first half at Delmarva.
If you love the minors or just like to head to Frederick to check out a game on occasion, this is a can’t-miss podcast for you. Give it a listen.